After North Korea celebrated a Tuesday inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch that Defense Secretary James Mattis said flew “higher […] than any previous shot they’ve taken,” President Donald Trump announced Wednesday morning that he has already spoken to China’s President Xi Jinping and that “major sanctions” will be imposed on Kim Jong-un’s nation today.
Trump echoed his Tuesday response on Twitter, saying the “situation will be handled!”
“Just spoke to President XI JINPING of China concerning the provocative actions of North Korea. Additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled!” he tweeted.
Yesterday, the president said of North Korea, “I will only tell you that we will take care of it.”
The ICBM, dubbed Hwasong 15 (“Mars”) flew as high as 2,800 miles and traveled for 50 minutes, according to ABC News.
“The great success in the test-fire of ICBM Hwasong-15 is a priceless victory won by the great and heroic people of the DPRK who have upheld the WPK’s line on the simultaneous development of the two fronts with loyalty,” North Korea said in a statement, “without the slightest vacillation, despite the vicious challenges by the U.S. imperialists and their followers and manifold difficulties.”
The New York Post quoted physicist David Wright, who estimated that the missile could have traveled 8,100 miles and would have “more than enough range to reach Washington, D.C..”
“Such a missile would have more than enough range to reach Washington, D.C., and in fact any part of the continental United States,” he said, though the U.S. Department of Defense said the missile could not threaten the U.S., its territories or its allies.
As recently as Monday Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morulov warned of an “apocalyptic development.”
The Russian news agency Tass reported reported the Morulov said during a conference in Seoul, South Korea, that North Korea must be stopped.
“A scenario of the apocalyptic development of the situation on the Korean Peninsula exists, and we cannot turn our blind eye to it,” he said. “I hope that a common sense, pragmatism and an instinct of self-preservation would prevail among our partners to exclude such negative scenario.”
Morulov also said that North Korea has been warned “many times” that its path to what it has called “nuclear justice” would not be tolerated by the rest of the world.
“We have told North Korea many times that for us [its] nuclear status is unacceptable. We continue this work with the North Korean counterparts presenting to them our position,” he added.
Russia issued a similar warning in October that North Korea might have its sights set on the West Coast of the United States.